UCCE 4-H Program of El Dorado County
University of California
UCCE 4-H Program of El Dorado County

Retro / Vintage Inspired Challenge

Retro/Vintage Inspired Challenge

Create an outfit that is inspired by a vintage design using new fabric and notions. Vintage is 20-100 years old, so use an inspiration that is from 1900-2000. The entry must state the year or period of the design and include a drawing, photo, or description of the design that inspires your outfit. At least one garment must be handmade by the member. Other garments and accessories can be handmade or purchased but must be representational of the same era. There is no 4-H project requirement; any 4-H member may enter this category. 

Ideas for sources of inspiration include but aren’t limited to: a sewing pattern that belonged to your parent, an outfit worn by your parent or grandparent in their youth, an iconic outfit worn by someone famous like Lucille Ball, Nancy Reagan, John Wayne, or James Dean, or use one of the new sewing patterns labeled Retro.

Ideas by eras:

  • 20s Gangster style, flannel fabric, flapper dress (calf length straight shift), short, sleek hair, Mary Jane ankle strap shoe,
  • 30s double breasted suits, full trousers, halter tops, shoulder pads, nylon hosiery, cowl neckline,  more fitted dress defining the waist,
  • 40s single breasted jackets, cuff and pleat free pants – limited use of wool during WWII, Dior designed fitted jacket and full skirt,
  • 50s trim tailoring, leisure time madras prints, Hawaiian shirts, pink shirts, poodle skirts, petticoats, peter pan collared blouses, pencil slim skirts, Chanel’s collarless, boxy jacket and slim skirt, A line dress, pony tail hair style, seamless stockings
  • 60s hippie look and preppy styles, tight jeans, peasant look, bell bottoms, paisley shirts, mini skirts, tie-dye, go-go boots, ¾ length sleeves, Nehru jackets, tent dress, Empire line dress, bouffant beehives,
  • 70s hot pants, nylon, acrylic and polyester fabrics, floppy collars, platform shoes, jogging suits, leisure suits, disco/glam rock, mini/maxi length, empire style dress, ethnic peasant style, , friendship bracelets,  pant suits, tank tops, clogs, satin jackets and open shirts,
  • 80s big shoulder pads, bold colors, graphic patterns, leather and studded designer jeans, leg warmers, parachute pants, polo shirts, power suits with wide shoulders, tailored wool suit,  big hair, tights and panty hose,
  • 90s grunge, loose, baggy silhouette, prints, rips and washed out shades of beige, goth and cyber punk, long straight hair parted down the middle, power bead bracelets

The first picture is a woven fabric. There are multiple threads, woven in and out perpendicular to each other like a basketweave. When the edge is cut, the threads fray.

 Woven fabric

 The second picture is a knit fabric, where one thread makes loops and continues in rows, just like if you were knitting a sweater but with thinner threads. The raw edge doesn’t unravel. The loops make the fabric stretchier.

Knit fabric

See this website for an explanation of the differences between a knit and a woven and what they can be used for: http://whatthecraft.com/what-is-the-difference-between-knit-fabrics-and-woven-fabrics/

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